WIAW like, all the time.

 

So I’ve lately kinda gotten into the habit of doing WIAW posts every-other-Wednesday (or less often), but then I have so many pictures that these things run kind of long. And I’ve been eating variations of similar things a lot, so its just kind of a lot of repeat pictures. I mean, lately its been smoothies, salads, and anything I can eat with my hands. And dessert. Like, all the time.

 

So what do I mean by that? Well lets start at breakfast…

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Smoothie Bowl

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Smoothie Bowl

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Acai Bowl (from a restaurant in Santa Cruz, but you know…still.)

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Aaannndddd once in a while, oatmeal. But still topped, as though it is a smoothie bowl. Yes, this is carrot-ginger topped with green apple. I’m weird.

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but on the days I didn’t have a smoothie for breakfast, I will usually have one in the afternoon. Lately I’ve been obsessed with a matcha-melon-mint combo with frozen cantaloupe, coconut water, a bit of banana, fresh mint, lemon, ginger, matcha powder, and spinach. mmmm…. so good! Plus it helps soothe my tummy whenever I OD on…

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Kabocha. Which happens like, all the time. 😉

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Kombucha (melon, on tap) helps too. Plus I like this glass. tangent alert.

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What? I just like fruit and veggies okay??

photo 4-90Sometimes I get creative, and set out the stuff for wraps…Chard wraps with brown rice, sweet potato, beans and veggies.photo 5-63

The giant chard made for a chipotle burrito worthy wrap ohmygosh.

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The same concept goes for fajita night (also: if you cook lentils and flavor them like refried beans, they serve as refried beans.)

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I’ve also made a lot of veggie burgers. Jen’s triple bean chili burgers are ah-mazing btw

 

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Oh oh! And I made more veggie burgers for my little sister’s B-day BBQ – my big sister and her boyfriend are doing the 21-day vegan kickstart so I decided to make sure there was food for us

I can’t believe another year has passed. Just yesterday I was writing this post for her, and now she is 5 years old and starting Kindergarten in a week!!! (she starts kindergarten the same year I start senior year -how cute is that!)

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Nothing says Happy Birthday like a decapitated unicorn hanging over a swarm of children fighting over it’s candy insides…Pinatas are violent….hahaha

 

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I also made lemon cupcakes with a raspberry ‘frosting’

Oh yeah….about dessert

 

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Sometimes I eat it in the afternoon -peach soft serve-you know, when I’m not eating a smoothie. Our Vitamix has been feeling the love

 

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or straight out of the freezer – homemade chocolate covered bananas topped with PB2

 

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Sometimes I experiment and prove that you can make chocolate pudding out of just about anything. Like this clean-out-the-fridge version with avocado, leftover squash, leftover black beans, leftover shredded veggies, almond milk, cocoa powder, banana, and something sweet. and you know, vanilla, salt, xanthan gum etc etc. I must be magic or something because this was delicious haha!

 

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Sometimes I get fancy -banana bread baked in a cake pan, topped with a PB2 ‘frosting’ and crushed chocolate chips

 

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We have had a lot of bananas on hand lately, after all….6 lbs, but SHOOT IT WAS 99 CENTS!!! (hahaha….) The rest all got frozen

 

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And sometimes, I’m just thankful that cookies are kind of hard to mess up. Like when you heat the oven almost 100 degrees hotter than the recipe called for. Sweet potatoes may be cooked at 425, but cookies should be at 350…Thank goodness they were fine haha!!

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And don’t forget to enter my JOURNEY BAR GIVEAWAY!!!!! I’ll announce a winner next week, so keep those entries coming like, all the time!!!!!!!!

Do you tend to just repeat the same things over and over (and over?)

Journey Bar Review!!

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed!!! Find out if you won here!

 

A few weeks ago, Journey sent me a sampling of their savory nutrition bars to review

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I’ve been wanting to see what Journey Bars were all about for a while now, so I was so excited to have the chance to try them!

What are Journey Bars? They are savory nutrition bars packed with whole grains, almonds,  and real herbs and spices that are all natural, gluten and soy free, vegan, and non-gmo (!!). Oh yeah, and did I mention they are so so delicious!!

The first bar I tore into was my favorite, Rosemary. I grabbed it out the door on the way to a farmers market

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ingredients:  whole grain blend (gluten-free oats, organic buckwheat, organic flaxseed), organic tapioca syrup, almonds, whole ancient grain crisps (amaranth, quinoa, brown rice), pea protein isolate, vegetable glycerin, plum puree, non-gmo canola oil, water, pumpkin, sea salt, chicory root, spices, natural flavor, baking soda, onion powder, garlic powder, citric acid.  CONTAINS: almonds

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I noticed right away that this was no ordinary bar! I opened the package and it reminded me of a dense bread or thick flatbread/muffin. Just ripping open the wrapper I was hit with the scent of rosemary (which justsohappens to be my favorite herb) and this bar was so so good! Slightly sweet, mostly savory and packed with that lovely rosemary. mmm. just mmmm.

Next I tried the Sesame Ginger after a hilly run (which is why it has the coolest picture-which I took whilst imagining some cool commercial involving hiking and mountains and then this picture saying “where will Journey take you?”)

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ingredients: whole grain and seed blend (gluten-free oats, organic buckwheat, sesame seeds), organic tapioca syrup, almonds, whole ancient grain crisps (amaranth, quinoa, brown rice), pea protein isolate, vegetable glycerin, non-gmo canola oil, plum puree, water, pumpkin, chicory root, sea salt, natural flavor, baking soda, onion powder, garlic powder, citric acid, spices.  CONTAINS: almonds, sesame

this was also delicious! toasty from the sesame, a little freshness from the ginger (though it could have used a bit more ginger) and with that same tiny hit of sweetness as the rosemary.

Next up was the Coconut Curry, my second favorite

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ingredients:  whole grain blend (gluten-free oats, organic buckwheat, organic flaxseed), organic tapioca syrup, almonds, whole ancient grain crisps (amaranth, quinoa, brown rice), pea protein isolate, vegetable glycerin, plum puree, non-gmo canola oil, water, coconut, chicory root, spices, baking soda, natural flavor, chili powder (ground chiles, paprika, salt, spices, garlic), citric acid.  CONTAINS: almonds, coconut

This bar was so different! I was a little nervous because-even though I LOVE curry-I am a spicy wimp and curry can get spicy, but this was perfect! Not too spicy, just perfectly Indian spiced and delicious! Also it was yellow, meaning it had turmeric (duh, curry powder haha), which I’ve heard is awesome for muscle recovery. I’d get this one again!

And, last but not least I tasted the Pizza Marinara!

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ingredients:  whole grain blend (gluten-free oats, organic buckwheat, organic flaxseed), organic tapioca syrup, almonds, whole ancient grain crisps (amaranth, quinoa, brown rice), pea protein isolate, vegetable glycerin, non-gmo canola oil, plum puree, water, tomato powder, natural flavor, onion powder, sea salt, chicory root, garlic powder, baking soda, spices, citric acid.  CONTAINS: almonds

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This one did actually remind me of marinara! It was like a tomatoey version of the rosemary, and a great way to go if you are ever having a pizza sauce craving (that happened to me once…) and don’t want all the heavy cheese. Personally I still would go for the rosemary, but this one was still delicious.

But wait? Wasn’t I sent 5 bars? Weeellll I couldn’t find the Sea Salt, and soon found out that my mom had eaten it while I was gone. Oops. She said “it was pretty good. savory and salty”. Hahaha!

What excites me most about Journey Bars is that they are something different. Alot of bars tend to be sugar laden (like 3 or 4 sources of sugar and 14-30 grams per bar?! Thats dessert people!), stickymeltygooey (one word.), and have ingredients lists that go on. for. days. Did I mention they are all sweet? Like, too sweet? Not Journey Bars! These say nutrition bars and they mean it-without sacrificing flavor or texture! No fake colors or flavors or sweeteners. They stand up to the heat of a hike in the sun without turning into melted candy bar status, and the stats are great! This is the nutrition info for the Rosemary

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There is a good balance of fats, carbs, and protein for sustained energy/recovery without overdoing the sugar, plus its full of filling fiber (as much as a bowl of oatmeal!)! The only thing is that the sodium is a bit high, but considering that it is a savory bar I can’t argue with that! A bar that feels like a snack and not dessert, and doesn’t trigger a raging sweet tooth for the rest of the day – you feel satisfied after one of these unique bars!

And as if Journey couldn’t get any better, they care about making a positive impact on the world! They support the national parks conservation association, and work to provide food, shelter, love and education to orphans in Haiti! Plus they are all non-gmo and non of them contain palm oil! It’s like the active activist’s dream bar!

But wait -There’s more!! The lovely people at Journey bar wants to give one of you a sample pack with one of each flavor (thats 5 whole bars total!)!!! How awesome is that?

To enter:  Giveaway is now closed

I will randomly choose a winner next Wednesday (the 7th). Good luck everyone!

Without Context

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Sometimes

A word, A phrase, An idea (a recipe)

will pitch a tent in my mind

and refuse to leave

A guest which outstays its welcome

perhaps.

I think to myself

this would make a good poem

this fragment of a line

and it will not leave me be

until it is permanent

on paper

in what context?

there is none.

just pieces

and bits

of my thoughts

floating on a page

until at last they find a home.

shoes pounding the pavement in sync with the heartbeat of the earth

as I float round the river in my blue froot loop

we wash the live, rich creations of the world off in a sterile, plastic tub

isn’t poetry grand!

when no rhymes are required?

or even if they are?

just thoughts

floating on a page

without context

until I build them a home

with nothing but a pen.

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Cinnamon Sugar Plantains

Because some recipes are so simple, they would rather live with no context.

  • 2 over ripe plantains
  • coconut sugar
  • cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Peel and slice your plantains into coin sized pieces 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with a little bit of coconut sugar and cinnamon and roast for 15 minutes. Take out of oven, flip, and sprinkle the other side with a little more cinnamon and sugar. Roast 5 more minutes, broiling at the end if you wish. Let cool before serving

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Sauce

  • 2 T. Peanut butter, flour or PB2
  • splash of almond milk
  • 3-4 drops chocolate stevia or 1 tsp cocoa powder plus sweetener of choice to taste

Mix it aaallll together, flavor to taste, and get dipping!!

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Hey Hey YEA Camp!!!!

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Hey everyone!! No I didn’t drop off the face of the earth -I was at camp! Youth Empowered Action Camp to be exact! You may recall my mentioning of it here a little while ago -well I made it and I have seriously been changed forever. This past week was filled with laughter, tears, learning, change making, and bonds that will last for the rest of my life. The gratitude I have for this past week is beyond words, and if I were to relay everything that has happened this would go down in history as the longest post ever -so I will just try to capture as much of it as I can for you all.

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This journal is filled with 50 pages of information, reflections, skills, quotes, things I want to do and books I want to read. And it doesn’t even begin to cover this week.

Let me explain YEA Camp. It is a camp designed for young people who want to change the world! Every single person there is passionate about making a difference -whether it be environmental activism, animal rights, LGBTQ equality, racism, bullying, human trafficking and so much more. We learn the skills we need to take our passions (Issues of Importance – IOI) and put them into action! It is an activist camp-but don’t think I’m about to go get myself arrested. We learned what activism truly means :finding a cause to be passionate about and actively working to make a difference.

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Just a few of the things we did at camp…;)

It took place in the Santa Cruz mountains and it was absolutely beautiful

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Each day was absolutely packed with activities – workshops, hikes, games, journaling

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I wrote a poem, inspired by the beautiful environment I was surrounded by:

Joy in my heart

beating

flowing through my veins

radiates!

inside out

to my feet

pointing and dancing

floating and leaping

the earth between my toes

connected.

to my hands

grasping, clapping

feeling

water cascades between fingertips

peaceful.

and, at last

at first

at once

to my mouth

shouts!

sings!

praises of life and love

proclaiming to all to see

to hear

then silence

a quiet joy

at one

with nature

my neighboors

myself.

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(this was the least busy day…)

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I can’t even describe to you how much I have learned and grown from this camp. I went expecting to learn about how to make a difference but I would never have imagined that my life would be changed. The love and commitment from everyone (all 28 campers and 13 staff) was so immense. We shared our goals, our accomplishments, our pains and secrets and laughs and friendships. I have become closer to these wonderful people -whom I did not know two weeks ago- than some people I have known my entire life!  Everyone did nothing but build each other up – supporting and hugging and helping each other to grow!

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I came to camp passionate about animal rights/ veganism and the environment -but I have grown to be passionate about so much more. Every single issue that people had – I want to help them make a difference. There were no age or gender barriers, no discrimination for what people thought or believed or who they were. This camp was so open and accepting and loving that I can’t wait to make this world a better place -Everyone is inherently good -this camp taught me that.

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We all wrote messages to each other on posters, much like a yearbook. Mine is now hanging in my room so I can see it every day.

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Every issue -every person and every story – is connected.

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We wrote a song! (you can listen here!! )

We made a video that I will post once its on Youtube!
And we had a lot of random dance parties 😉

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Even in the kitchen during dinner….

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We created a mandala of our perfect world -the one that we will create- full of acceptance and peace

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This week meant so much to me. Not only do I feel empowered to make a difference and appreciate so many new issues (and suddenly become more aware of our consumption -it took 5 minutes before I could let my mom put plastic straws and paper plates in our cart the other day-never again!) but I have gained so much confidence! I opened up to forty people about my struggles. I allowed myself foods (still vegan) I haven’t eaten in years. I felt truly and honestly beautiful and now I can finally allow that light that I have been hiding shine out into the world. Not only am I going to be so much more active in the issues that I care about but I have been inspired to take all that this week gave to me and I am going to share it with my community. I decided to start the first ever YEA club at my school -empowering even more students to make a difference.

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What the other campers are planning to do is incredible! They are raising funds to start a school in a third world country, petitioning to have their schools do meatless mondays, compostable lunch trays, and anti bullying programs. They are leafletting and tabling and teaching and advocating and creating their own environmental policies. One girl is planning on starting her own non profit Cow Sanctuary, and is now raising funds to save her first cow so she can learn how to take care of the beautiful creatures (You can like her FB page and learn about it here!!). Another girl has been selling cookies to raise money for donating to stop human trafficking (FB Page) and has only $300 to go before she reaches her goal of $2,000! And that is just a small portion of everything that these amazing kids are doing!

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My desire to advocate has turned from an idea to a tangible reality. I don’t want to make a difference. I WILL make a difference. I wish I could express to you everything that we did, the empowerment I received, the way I have changed, but my heart is too full to put it into words. All I can say (and keep saying) is that this week was a turning point for me. Life changing. I can do anything.

I really hope that everyone gets the chance that I did to make a difference! This was the 5th year of the camp, and there is one in California, Oregon, and Massachusetts. Go check out their  website and Facebook page to learn more, and click here for more pictures from this week!!!

A Marvelous Weekend!!

Happy Monday everyone!! Yes, I know I’m a little late to the part (its only 7:30 in CA though!!), but my weekend was just too good not to share!!

 

 

And before we get started, can we please all give a virtual hug to Katie and her little cutie Rocco? Oh my goodness what a little sweetheart! Ahhh I love babies!As I said, this weekend was such a jam packed and fun filled one!! I started off Saturday morning bright and early with my first ever hill run! Jed, our Team Veg captain, picked me up so I could go with him on his training run in Auburnphoto 1-91Our heat wave finally ended (92 baby!!!) and so early in the morn in the mountains was absolutely beautiful!! There were a couple of other ladies running with us, so I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with Jed the whole time (he is fast and those hills were intense. )I wish I had run with my phone to share pictures with you all! Pine trees and hills and a river- breathtaking! Good thing these are every other Saturday so I can take a picture next time!photo 2-96After the run, we went down to the river off the trail to cool off and clean off. It had warmed up nicely so the water was perfect for swimming, and so clear!!My mom then met us at Animal Place, a farm sanctuary close to where we were running, because it was their 24th anniversary!photo 4-85photo 5-58photo 1-90I love farm sanctuaries so much!! This little piggy had the right idea-see that bucket? It was her water bucket until she decided to turn it over and make a mud puddle instead. Refreshing ;)And the best part? It was a Pig-Out party!!! They asked everyone to bring a melon, which we then threw over the fence to the piggies to eat. Easily one of the most amusing things ever.

After this we drove home, and I brought Sophie over to my friend’s house for a doggie playdate

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Another friend and her pomeranian met us at the park, oh my goodness it was so cute to see them all playing!!

On Sunday, we had a beleated 4th of July BBQ with some Team Veg friends…

Well, we were going to have a BBQ. But Jed recently went Raw. So it turned into a Raw-B-Q. Plus grilled corn 😉

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We had grilled corn, raw veggie burgers with guac and cashew cheese, fruit and home made kale chips (that Leslie brought!)!

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I made the veggie burgers using this recipe from Rawesome Vegan Life as the burger base, but with my own mix of flavors and spices, plus more mushrooms. They were delicious!!!

For dessert we had some raw cheesecake that Jed made

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Which was delicious and so dense!!

I also made some raw vegan drumsticks using this recipe from Nouveau Raw…

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I added vanilla and almond butter to the ice cream, and used a bit of dark cocoa powder (in addition to the cacao) to the coating. The only problem is that we have a round dehydrator so I made them small and flat haha!! But boy were these delicious! So making them again! A drumstick that doesn’t give you a tummy ache!!

And the last marvelous thing? I got my new Team Veg shirt!

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It makes me feel like a real boy!! runner 😉 I feel legit.

So that was my marvelous weekend!!

How was yours? Got any plans for the week? Tomorrow I’m dying my hair again, so I’ve got six hours of plastic head to look forward to!! hahah woo!

WIAW: Heat Wave Cold Food

Happy WIAW again guys!!! You may have noticed I gave my blog a little face lift – or not if you’ve been checkin me out via google reader (RIP) or Feedly:) I switched to Feedly a while ago, but lately I’ve been cheating on it with bloglovin’ -I can’t commit. But anyway, face lift! huh? huh? You like it? Yes? No? Maybe? WIAW! Right.



So I’ve noticed a common theme this week: Simple, cold, (often sweet) Vitamix-lovin food and ALL THE CHOCOLATE! What can I say, the heat brings out the dessert lover in me 🙂

Breakfasts have been a lot of this:

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Smoothie Bowl…(mixed berries, spinach, flax, tropical vega, and granola)

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Smoothie Bowl…

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Heylookoatmeal

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Aaannnddd another smoothie bowl. This time it was banana-mango-pineapple-ginger, lemon, spinach, and tropical vega topped with strawberries, almonds, and granola -in an almost empty soy yogurt container (edges). Like OIAJ but smoothie in a carton haha

Lunches have been really simple also:

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Taco salad (beans and tortilla underneath, so by the end I have a burrito) pre-salsa

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Salad with a side of roasted sweet potatoes (roast em in the early morn!)

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And then there was this one day where I broke out the pressure cooker and made black beans and quinoa. This, too, is pre salsa. Nice to change it up a bit!!

Dinners have had a little more thought put into them (at least, the ones I take pictures of…because sometimes we are lazy and snack our way through dinner aka a cereal course, a beans/tofu-straight-out-of-the-fridge course, a veggie course…it happens 😉 )

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To celebrate National Vegan Pizza Day I made a Hawaiian BBQ pizza! I found a delightful looking cauliflower pizza crust from the Fitchen that Amelia had posted about the other day-I used part almond flour and part chickpea flour, and topped it with a sauce I made from fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, bbq sauce, and spices, plus veggies, red and green onion, bbq tempeh and chickpeas, and pineapple. This was delicious! My only change would be to make the crust into individual pizzas and not try to make it one crust, because I spread it too thin and it got crumbly in the middle -but it was still awesome.

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Another night I was feeling pretty fancy and decided to use the fresh vegan ravioli we picked up at the Farmers Market, and spiced up my leftover pizza sauce. Okay guys: Fresh Ravioli >>>Frozen. Its awesome, and this was even after being in the fridge for a few days. I can’t even imagine what its like made day-of! New favorite pasta right there.

Oh yeah, and all of that sweet, cold, chocolate? Every single snack has been dessert, basically.

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Chocolate peanut butter icerageous (name an old coffee place gave to their icy frappucino drinks)

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These. So good frozen!

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A peach pie smoothie

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As well as peach pie ice cream! It came out really good, but I didn’t write down any amounts! I could probably guess though, if you guys are interested 🙂

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This chocolate chip banana cookie pie. Really good

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A Chocolate cake with a frosting I concocted out of cocoa powder, avocado, shelled chickpeas, maple syrup, vanilla, stevia, and espresso powder. Tip! Want a double layer cake but not an entire cake that will last for days on end? Bake a single layer, cut it in half, and frost it regular: You’re left with half a cake!! Sooo good

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We heard that Tutti Frutti is now offering a vegan soybean froyo, so we had to go check it out! Unfortunately, they were almost out of fresh fruit, and the yogurt was meh -it just tasted sweet to me, no tang! Fortunately I topped mine with every color of the rainbow. It kinda made up for the meh yogurt.

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‘Cookie dough’ soy yogurt, mixed plain with some peanut flour, vanilla, oats and chocolate chips

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The Chocolate Cherry Matcha Shake I shared with you yesterday

And of course:

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Chocolate avocado pudding. I have no idea how many avocados, nor how much cocoa powder, I’ve been through this week, but its a little abnormal. Oh well, I think I’m a chocolate person now 😉

Sweet or savory? It really depends on my mood, when I was little I was totally into the savory ( I put salt on watermelon, and ate peanut butter and butter sandwiches. Ew.) But now, I’d say more sweet. Which is weird because I don’t like too sweet, just desserty…

Simple or elaborate? I love putting together elaborate plates, so pretty, but 99.9% of the time, I just throw stuff in a bowl or blender and call it good!

Chocolate Cherry Matcha Shake

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So you may remember how I mentioned that we are in the middle of a heat wave.

I have hardly left the house for the past couple of days, instead we have been cleaning.

You can only take so much cleaning.

We (meaning my mother and I) needed an afternoon pick me up -something cold and energizing…

My mom wanted matcha. I wanted chocolate (I’ve been in an Eat ALL the chocolate!!! mood lately)

But would chocolate and green tea be good together????

We debated for a good 5 minutes -chocolate matcha or peach matcha? Chocolate or peach? Peach or chocolate?

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We went with chocolate.

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Life is rough.

Chocolate Cherry Matcha Shake

serves 2

  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate almond milk, frozen (about 6 ice cubes)*
  • 1 C. frozen dark sweet cherries
  • 1-1 1/2 C. non dairy milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T. dark cocoa powder (or 3 T. regular)
  • 1 1/2 T. Matcha green tea powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp stevia, or other sweetener (to taste)

Blend everything up!! Thats it:)

*We have taken to keeping a stash of almond milk in ice cube trays in the freezer for creamier smoothies and the like:), and just so happened to have a bit of chocolate almond milk in the freezer. If you don’t have the chocolate almond milk, just add a bit more cocoa powder and sweet 🙂

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This was perfect! Cool, creamy, and refreshing, the dark, rich chocolate balanced perfectly with the grassy freshness of the matcha, plus a hint of fruity sweetness from the cherries!

A little bit of heaven in a glass

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Now off to tackle the dusting…